Friis, CEO Jonathan Christensen — a Skype veteran — and a team of more than 50 people today launched Wire, a messaging app that features voice calling, group messaging, and the ability to share pictures, video, music, and more. It’s available today for iOS, Android, and Mac OS X.
“Skype was launched more than a decade ago. A lot has changed since then — we are all used to free calls and texting, and we have taken to carrying our computers in our pockets,” Friis said in a statement. “It is time to create the best possible communication tools, as beautiful as they are useful. Wire is just that.”
Wire, based in Switzerland, enters a crowded arena of messaging apps and says it sets itself apart with an in-house developed audio technology for voice calling and “communications with an emphasis on high fidelity paired with elegant design.”
Wire reminded us of another messaging app created in Seattle by a company with a nearly identical name — Wire Labs. Founded by former Amazon employees Piragash Velummylum and Jordan Timmermann, the Techstars Seattle startup raised a $1.8 million seed round one year ago from more than 30 investors, including people like Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford, former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta and Seattle entrepreneur Rudy Gadre.
But now, Wire Labs’ URL — wire.im — is no longer live. However, both of the co-founders’ LinkedIn profiles still note their current positions at Wire Labs.
We’ve reached out to Velummylum to see what’s going on with his startup and we’ll update this post when we hear back.
Update, 1:45 p.m. — Velummylum got back to us and said that Wire has rebranded to a new selfie app called Talio. Here’s how he describes it:
“Our focus has been on reinventing the selfie. We’ve come up with something really cool called “tilt” that let’s you take these epic moving selfies. The idea is that you can take these moving selfies and send them to your friends and family. We’re taking advantage of the fact that smartphones have a ton of cool capabilities and sensors. The result is that we can make messaging more immersive and fun. We focused on building something really unique and addictive.”